How You Know Him:
In a boatload of offbeat indie comedies, such as Rushmore, I Heart Huckabees, The Darjeeling Limited, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, and currently the HBO comedy, Bored to Death, about a writer who moonlights as an unlicensed private detective. Also, probably the most amusing thing in his cousin Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette.
Why He’s Crushworthy:
I was honestly tepid about Bored to Death for awhile. In the first season I was compelled enough to keep watching, but it wasn’t something I couldn’t wait for every week. But as the season went on it seemed to get consistently more funny. I suppose it’s possible that I just acclimated myself to the humor, but considering it always seemed like something that should be very far up my alley I’m of the personal opinion the writing just got more compelling. Now, season two is wrapping up and I think it’s in top form. HBO marketed it last year as a “Noir-otic Comedy” and, despite bad puns, I think that’s pretty much the best way to describe it. The characters are often over the top parodies of themselves, but always endearing, and the setting of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn (though it’s filmed predominately in Fort Greene, Brooklyn) rather than the overused Manhattan adds the right sort of charm. And while Ted Danson and Zach Galifinakis add a lot as the main characters friends what really makes the show, in my opinion, is Jason Schwartzman as the lead character of Jonathan Ames (which is also the name of the writer and creator of the series, a move that may be just a little bit too meta as far as I’m concerned). But that’s enough about Bored to Death, because while that’s the reason I thought of him at this particular juncture in my life it’s certainly not the reason why I like him.
Let’s take his work with Wes Anderson for example. I love Wes Anderson. I have loved him since Rushmore (no, sorry, not Bottle Rocket) which I rented with my camp friend S during our 48 hour leave from camp. She fell asleep and I must confess that I didn’t find the humor all that humorous until about halfway through the movie when Schwartzman’s character, Max, engages in a war with Bill Murray over the love of a teacher at Rushmore Academy. Since he’s the president of the beekeeping society he steals a few and lets them loose in Murray’s hotel room. He then exits an elevator, bees in hand, in slow motion and doesn’t bother to pause as he takes his gum out of his mouth and sticks it to the wall. I lost it. I don’t know why it was this particular scene, which I am sure many don’t even remember (the gum bit, not the bees bit), that struck me as particularly hilarious, but it did. And then the rest of the movie was hysterical, and remains so. And then, The Darjeeling Limited, which he co-wrote. It’s about three brothers traveling across India via train (mostly) to visit their mother who lives in some sort of ashram in the middle of nowhere. And throughout the entire thing Schwartzman’s character of Jack Whitman never wears shoes. Now why do I enjoy this particular eccentricity? I honestly couldn’t tell you. But it’s so adorably hilarious that I do.
Basically, I guess the thing is, Jason Schwartzman is sort of the go to guy for slightly, or majorly, neurotic white guys who are all over the place and can’t make decisions. Which may, in a way, be a male version of myself. So there’s really no way I couldn’t find him endearing. But I think the main reason why he’s my Weekly Crush is because I’ve liked almost every character he’s ever played, no matter how flawed they are. Maybe that’s because I have some sort of mental disorder, but it may just be because as an actor he inspires admiration. Either way… it works for me.